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March  2008 RSS feed Archive for March, 2008

Shift Happens

by
Leslie Stevens
Mar 31, 2008, 8:40 pm ET

A new acquisition, the slowing economy, increased competitive pressures, or plummeting sock prices. There’s a good chance your business felt the impact from one of these major events in the past year. But did your company have a workforce plan in place that anticipated the event’s impact on human capital?

The most likely answer to that question is no, because nearly 90 percent of the attendees at the “Workforce Planning” workshop at today’s ERE Expo in San Diego said their companies only had basic workforce planning models in place, and those traditional models don’t forecast human capital needs based upon possible future business scenarios.

“Too often the first step in the workforce planning process happens when the requisition is received, and that’s too late,” said Ed Newman, president of the Newman Group, who facilitated the workshop. Newman says that intermediate-level workforce planning combines workforce analytics with scenario modeling to look at how future business circumstances may impact retention and future hiring needs.

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Deep Thoughts on Those Sourcing Sweet Spots

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 31, 2008, 4:08 pm ET

You know how great you feel when a person comes along and surpasses your expectations; this person almost always makes you reconsider how you measure for the next position.

But you also know what happens when a person comes along who does not meet your expectations. Sure, this person is no superstar, but they’ll fill the position and maintain the status quo.

Which version of the above scenarios happens most at your company? Are your days filled with chest puffery bravado or feelings of blasé compliance? There has to be hope for a middle ground of sourcing success. So if we can all agree that the “employee model” is in need of a serious overhaul, where do we start?

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Ed Davis: HR Doesn’t Own Talent

by
Todd Raphael
Mar 31, 2008, 10:42 am ET

Some words of wisdom from Ed Davis, star VP of staffing, leading a workshop today from the ERE Expo in San Diego on competency-based interviewing:

On the 80-20 rule:

Find out what the most critical 20% of jobs in your company are. “The 20% the CEO is really concerned about, that sweet spot. You have to be great at producing top talent in that sweet spot and good at everything else.”

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Establishing Applicant Expectations Upfront

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Mar 31, 2008

By Dr. John Sullivan & Master Burnett

One of the first lessons that many third-party recruiters learn is one borrowed from the sales profession. The lesson basically teaches that as intermediaries between the organization and the applicant, the recruiter has to work diligently to equalize expectations between the two parties if they want to have a realistic chance at closing the deal and converting the applicant to an employee.

During the courtship, the recruiter needs to help establish expectations in the applicant’s mind about the nature of the work the job entails, the work environment, the resources that will be made available to the employee, and of course, what compensation the employer will likely offer. The recruiter must also work to establish expectations with the hiring manager regarding the applicant’s fit for the job requirements, their work ethic, and of course, what type of offer would be required for the applicant to seriously consider employment with the organization.

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HotJobs? Search Now Based on Relevancy

by
John Zappe
Mar 29, 2008, 11:08 am ET

Yahoo! is getting REAL with its job search results, presenting them now according to how well they match a jobseeker’s search criteria.

Job boards all generally present listings the same way: Job descriptions are matched to a jobseeker’s keywords. The results are then displayed in order of posting date. Now, Yahoo! HotJobs (profile ; site) is starting to display the results in terms of relevancy, meaning that the recency of a listing is less important than how it meets both the jobseeker’s criteria and Yahoo!’s own algorithms.

The company calls the new system REAL, which stands for relevance, engagement, availability and location. Some of these elements were already being used to present results. Jobseekers on HotJobs, and on other boards, have long been able to search by locale and job title, adding keywords to narrow the results.

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Are You Suffering from Over-Sourcing Syndrome?

by
Lou Adler
Mar 28, 2008

O?ver sourc?ing syn?drome: the need to find more candidates than needed caused by inappropriately eliminating the good candidates you already have.

This article expands upon one I wrote recently on the serious topic of over-sourcing. If you’ve ever lost a good candidate because someone conducted an inaccurate interview, someone on the hiring team didn’t like the person’s personality, or a top candidate decided not to pursue your opportunity, you’ve experienced over-sourcing syndrome.

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Comparing L-1 Visas to the H-1B

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 27, 2008, 11:29 am ET

It’s less than a week until the April 1 filing date for fiscal year 2009 H-1B visas. Do you know where your petitions are?

If you’ve been tasked with finding new foreign employees at the managerial level or with a highly specialized knowledge, you’re probably keenly aware that the demand for H-1Bs is exceeding the current supply of 65,000 annually.

But are there alternatives available, and if so, how do they work?

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Federal Workers: Government Work More Challenging, Ethical

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 27, 2008, 9:15 am ET

Does the federal government stand a chance in competing alongside your company for the most sought-after senior-level workers? If you thought the private sector had an advantage, it might be surprising to learn that the hiring of upper-level employees from outside the government has steadily increased in the last 15 years, but especially since 2000.

After all, the federal government is fighting similar battles to what is happening in your organization — a surge of retirement-age analysts, supervisors, and managers are departing — and the government is probing the private sector to fill this critical shortage of senior-level specialists.

A newly issued report analyzing hiring trends for new employees at the grades 12, 13, 14, and 15 in fiscal year 2005 shows that the government hired more than 12,000 new upper-level workers, or 39% more than the 8,600 employees of the same rank hired in FY 1990, preceding the workforce downsizing of the 1990s.

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How Maxine Can Succeed

by
Kevin Wheeler
Mar 27, 2008

Last week, I presented a short case study about a recruiter named Maxine. After just a few weeks of employment, she was being criticized by her boss for not getting many open call center positions filled and for spending too much time trying to create a profile of the successful person. She wanted to know more; her boss wanted action.

I asked several questions, and asked you to respond with your own thoughts. Here are the questions I posed with some of your responses and my own comments.

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Three Ways to Be a Rock Star Recruiter

by
Jason Dupree
Mar 26, 2008

I’m sure you read “Top 10 Indications That You Are a Dinosaur (Old-School) Recruiter.” Sullivan is correct when he reminds us that change is a constant in our profession and that we must change with the times or fade away.

But as I read that article I thought, I’m not that old yet! Well, time to start a blog. Then the strangest thing happened. Someone else wrote another article that said just the opposite! Howard Adamsky’s view on “Recruiting, Innovation, and Thinking Differently” left me pondering which approach would suit me best.

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Spring Grad Outlook, Part II

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 25, 2008, 12:24 pm ET

Some more thoughts and trends on the Class of 2008, and the best ways to tap into the most promising new graduates this spring:

— Despite what is happening at Bear Stearns, NYC-area students are hungry for their bite of the Big Apple, with Wall Street jobs in the highest demand. Results from the Universum IDEAL survey of six area undergraduate universities reveal that both Goldman Sachs (24%) and the financial services industry (29%) are tops. In contrast, undergraduate students outside of New York are more interested in Google as the ideal employer, and the government/public service sector as the ideal industry. NYC-area students also value compensation packages the most (40%), compared to the general population, which prefers work/life balance (39%).

— The Universum survey also reveals students’ preferences when it comes to gathering information about employers, with career fairs coming in first, followed by internships, company websites, online job boards, and coming in fifth, company recruiters at school. The students say the information they prefer the most at career fairs includes material on internships; current job openings; career-development opportunities; the actual recruitment process; and mentoring.

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Source Candidates? Sure. But Clever Recruiters Are Using ZoomInfo For More

by
John Zappe
Mar 25, 2008, 10:18 am ET

When you’re looking for a needle in a haystack – and what recruiter isn’t? – use a magnet. The same goes for sourcing candidates and getting a quick primer on who they are and where they’ve worked. In this case, the magnet is an 8-year-old specialty search engine with the appropriately descriptive name ZoomInfo .

Scouring the Web for information on individuals and companies, ZoomInfo gathers it, indexes it, compiles it and presents it in a neat package. Like many search engines, the work is done entirely by computer. So it has limitations. Still, ZoomInfo makes it a snap for recruiters to develop candidate lists simply by entering their criteria.

But, says Tad Goltra , VP and GM of ZoomInfo’s recruiting business unit, recruiters have found plenty of other ways of using what is rapidly becoming the largest business search engine in the world. “Recruiters are a big part of our business,” says the former Monster exec.

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Are You Hiring Future Champions or Future Saboteurs?

by
Jon Kaupla
Mar 25, 2008

Each time we interview a prospective employee, we not only question the recruit, we question ourselves. Am I talking to a candidate who would become an asset to the company? This candidate looks good on paper and is in a best-behavior mode, but will he or she be a good match to support our organization’s goals? Or is this a potential company saboteur?

As recruiters, we have the daunting job of selecting employees who can deliver what an organization defines as its on-brand activity. We want to avoid an employee who doesn’t fit in, who will be unproductive, criticize management, provide substandard service, or undermine a company’s internal culture and its promise to its clients. These are traits we’ve identified as workplace “sabotage.”

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Budgeting for a World-Class Employee Referral Program

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Mar 24, 2008

by Dr. John Sullivan & Master Burnett

It’s no secret that employee referral programs are proving themselves around the world to be a highly effective and efficient channel for sourcing quality candidates. While many employers are drawn to the source based solely on attractive cost-per-hire predictions, those savvy enough to measure the impact post implementation are finding out that candidates sourced via referral are more apt to:

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Hunting Bear Lawyers

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 21, 2008, 1:47 pm ET

After a tumultuous week, which saw the company’s stock plummet to $2/share and ensuing threats of lawsuits, embattled Bear Stearns is seeing a different kind of law-related issue.

TheLawyer.com is reporting a “feeding frenzy” by recruiters for the approximately 100 attorneys in Bear Stearns’ compliance department, most of whom may face layoffs once the buyout by JPMorgan Chase is completed. Most of the attorneys are in Bear Stearns’ fixed income department, with additional legal support in areas including litigation, vendor contracts, and employment.

At present, Bear Stearns’ entire legal and compliance division counts about 475 people.

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Web-Based Hiring Tests: Do They Deliver?

by
Dr. Wendell Williams
Mar 21, 2008

The phone rings. Someone on the other end says he or she wants to build (or buy) a Web-enabled hiring test. Let’s say it will be for salespeople (generally the caller is a recruiter or HR manager, but sometimes he or she is a gopher).

After discussing the idea for a few minutes, I make a few suggestions. These always include following the ‘Guidelines’ to make sure the test is based on job requirements and business necessity and following the ‘Standards’ to make sure the test actually predicts job performance.

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Awaiting Their Fate: Bear Stearns Workers Jittery on Wall Street

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 20, 2008, 11:31 am ET

Forget Enron. The destruction of shareholder value on an epic scale is how Wall Street analysts are explaining what has happened to Bear Stearns workers this week, as they saw their company sold to JPMorgan Chase for $2 a share.

Last year, stock at Bear Stearns, once the fifth-largest investment bank in the United States, sold for $170 a share. And about one-third of the bank’s outstanding stock is owned by its own employees, the same workers who may see pink slips in the near future.

James Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, addressed Bear Stearns executives for 45 minutes on Wednesday evening, explaining that while “No one on Wall Street could have anticipated this,” he anticipates that many of Bear’s 14,153 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the deal. He noted that JPMorgan executives will try to keep the best performers as they move to integrate the two firms.

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Maxine’s Challenge

by
Kevin Wheeler
Mar 20, 2008

Maxine is in deep trouble. She was hired 12 days ago as a recruiter to work with a manager who had about 200 call center requisitions to fill in a 90-day window.

The positions weren’t unusual or particularly hard to fill. In fact, over the past few months, new college graduates, several retirees who were youthful and had the requisite skills, and a handful of experienced former call center employees had been hired with varying degrees of success. Yet turnover is an issue; it runs to more than 100% each year.

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Generation Delusional: X, Y Get D, F for Retirement

by
Elaine Rigoli
Mar 19, 2008, 8:33 am ET

Though their approaches to interviewing and working styles may differ, members of Generations X and Y (those born between 1968 and 1988) seem to have something in common after all.

Both groups are now acknowledging that they need to pick up the slack when it comes to planning for their financial futures.

A new report released by the Divided We Fail group and the American Savings Education Council shows that while 86% of Gen Xers and Gen Yers know they should be more prepared for a “rainy day,” most are surprisingly clueless about how to make that a success.

Need proof? The survey of 1,752 young people shows they know more about their iPods (40% very knowledgeable) than they do about filing their taxes (26%), buying a home (21%), investing outside of work (15%), and saving for retirement (15%).

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History of Recruiting: Part II

by
Raghav Singh
Mar 19, 2008

Innovations in recruiting have been occurring for over several millennia. I recently wrote about some in an earlier article about the Roman army. The Romans were by no means alone. Other societies (the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Chinese) also contributed to the developing recruiting practices, some of which are still with us today.

These practices almost invariably developed to support the recruitment of soldiers, since the army was the only formal organization of any size and consequence. These societies faced many of the same problems we have today: a shortage of talent, laws, and regulations that attempted to benefit one group over another, and the need to have a reliable mechanism for keeping their armies at the level of readiness they needed to achieve their goals.

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